The first day of the HD EXPO/SWAFT Convention in Dallas went rather smooth, and that night was completed at what most Texans would consider “stereotype Hell.” It’s a place called Gilley’s, which is probably the kind of place anyone who’s never actually been to Texas would imagine it would be like (think Urban Cowboy). In other words, it’s a honkytonk and full of people in cowboy hats two-stepping. I don’t own a cowboy hat (not even an ironic, indie rock one) and I don’t know how to two-step (I’ve tried and failed), but that actually makes me more of a typical Texan than some may think. Anyway, there is also one Texas event I had never experienced before that night and I decided to indulge myself and the drinkers around me… I competed in a mechanical bullriding contest.
Now, since I had never so much as sat atop a mechanical bull before this weekend it was a little like a naive, abstinent virgin deciding to become a porn star. In other words, I had no clue what I was doing. I’ll add pictures to the blog sooner or later for proof, but I managed to stay on that animatronic steer for a few seconds before being flung off. How nice. The folks in my party, including the HD EXPO girls as well as HDNet’s Bob Jacoby, were sweet enough to show their support. But I was outmatched and outnumbered. Nevertheless, I finished with third place.
Otherwise, our Dallas weekend was a calm one. The trade show was not jampacked with activity like we had hoped, but this was their first year with this event and it was just nice to be a part of it. This is especially the case because SXSW still needs to crack Dallas and Houston a bit more. It would be great to have these big film/TV towns be more involved with what we do.
The highlight for me was probably finally getting to sit down and chat with Shane Carruth, Sundance-winning director of the Texas production Primer. The film is coming to theaters in October, and Shane is just gearing up for a month of festival rounds as well as some final work on the trailer, one-sheet, etc. It seems to still be a very independent production, even with the help of savvy distribution company ThinkFilm. Shane participated in a panel SXSW hosted this weekend at the HD EXPO event. The Dallas Observer’s Robert “The Man” Wilonsky interviewed Shane “The Mann” Carruth (“Mann” because I firmly believe Shane’s style has him poised to be the next Michael Mann).
The panel was a success, and even Shane’s proud parents came to watch it. Even cuter: Shane’s parents are trying to read Peter Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures, but are having a hard time getting past all the profanity and industry jargon. Spoken like the true parents of a real, new generation talent.